Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Teardrops of Love Part 2: Marking, Cutting and Basting Shapes

Welcome to Part 2 of  "Teardrops of Love - a needle turn applique tutorial".   Part 2 focuses on Marking, Cutting and Basting Shapes.

If you missed Part 1: Tools -- click here to read about my favorite tools for Needle Turn Applique and a brief description of how I got started and a little bit about the ladies from whom I learned.

I've posted a PDF (see sidebar) which includes a summary of Part 1 (Tools) and Part 2 (Marking, Cutting and Basting Shapes), along with the Shapes Template needed to follow along with the tutorial.

Let's get started with Part 2:  Marking, Cutting and Basting Shapes


Using the Shapes Template in the "Teardrops of Love" PDF (sidebar) - prepare your freezer paper applique shapes using 1 of 2 methods: 

1.  Run a sheet of freezer paper (paper side up) through your desktop printer - printing the template at 100% scale on the paper side of the freezer paper sheet.

OR

2. Print the Shapes Template on paper and trace the designs onto freezer paper with a black marker or pen.

The Shapes Template includes three different sizes of teardrops and hearts.  I mixed and matched the sizes for the tutorial.  You may want to start with the larger teardrop and heart and work your way to the smaller pieces after a little practice.
Once your shapes are printed or traced onto freezer paper - cut the shapes out along the printed or traced line.

Next, choose the fabrics you want to use for your applique pieces and background.

I used a Charm Pack of "Panier DeFleurs" by French General for Moda for my applique and an 11 x 15 inch piece of neutral French General fabric for the background.  I LOVE French General!

Now position the freezer paper shape on the right side of your applique fabric - be sure to leave 1/8th to 1/4 inch of fabric around the outside of the shape (avoid placing the shape flush in the corner or on an edge).

If you are using more than one shape per piece of fabric, be sure to leave a good 1/4  inch of clearance between the shapes.  This is the edge that will get Needle Turned in a later step.
Iron the freezer paper to the applique fabric with a medium heat dry iron.   Don't be afraid to press hard -- you'll want the freezer paper to adhere well so you can trace around it with your marking tools.
After ironing the freezer paper shape to your applique fabric, place the fabric/shape unit on your Sandboard. 

If you don't have a sandboard, place your unit on any course/rough surface.  This will help stabilize the fabric when marking around the outside of the freezer paper shape.
Now use one of your marking tools to trace around the outside of the freezer paper shape while it rests on your sandboard.  Use your fingers to gently press on the freezer paper while you trace around it with a marking tool.  Marking tools were discussed in this post

I used Soapstone to mark the solid red fabric:
A Sewline Pink Fabric Pencil was used on the lighter fabric:
Sewline Pink Fabric Pencil was used on this one too!
Once you've marked around the outside of the template shape,  press around the outside of the freezer paper shape with a Hera Marker.  
The Hera marker will put a crease in the fabric - just enough that when you begin to Needle Turn the crease will enable the fabric to turn a bit easier.
Below is the back side of the teardrop after being marked with soapstone and traced with the Hera Marker.  If you look closely (click on the photo to make it larger), you can just see the indentation in the fabric to the left of the Hera Marker.
Once you've marked and creased your applique shape, you can remove the freezer paper from the fabric.  Be sure you can clearly see the mark once your freezer paper is removed.
Next get out those wonderful Elan serrated edge scissors and trim appx 1/8 inch around the outside of your marked line.  Remember to include the width of your mark in your overall calculation (if your mark is already 1/16 of an inch wide then just cut another 1/16 of an inch outside of the mark).

** Optionally -- leave your freezer paper attached while you cut around the outside of your mark.  The freezer paper helps stabilize your fabric while you are cutting.
Don't fret too much over the width of the cut edge -- You'll always find a way to turn that fabric under - if the edge is to wide, you can trim it - if its too narrow then you'll get creative and use a toothpick or your finger ;)
I've marked and cut a handful of pieces and placed them onto my background fabric.

Now, in preparation for basting, secure the applique pieces to the background fabric with a few Clover Applique Pins.
Ah the JOY of basting.  For me personally, I get really irritated when my applique thread gets caught on pins.  So basting is very relaxing and rewarding for me.  Once a piece is basted and all of the pins are removed, I can sit in a comfortable chair, watch TV, listen to a book or the birds and just stitch.  It's that warm feeling of doing handwork with no interruptions!  I LOVE IT!
I baste with the applique and background laying flat on a hard surface (The June Tailor Cut 'n Press comes in handy for this). Thread a Straw Milliners needle with 12-18 inches of YLI Basting Thread. 

Use your fingers to gently stabilize your fabric while you baste.

Begin basting by taking two small whip stitches (in place) at your starting point.  Doing this will allow you to baste without knotting your thread - allowing your thread to pull out easily once your Needle Turn is complete.
Once you've secured your basting thread continue to baste with a running stitch along the outer edge of your applique piece.

Take several stitches at a time if you're comfortable with it.  Don't pull your thread too taut - you don't want any puckers in your fabric.
Continue around the applique and secure the end of the basting thread as you started it -- with a couple of small whip stitches (in place).  Cut your thread and move on to the next piece to be basted.

If you're just starting out, don't baste your heart shapes until you've Needle Turned your teardrops.  Take a picture of the layout and set the hearts aside for now.
Well -- that sure was a LONG post.  If you have questions or suggestions please leave me a comment -- I love to hear and learn about better methods of doing things.

Stay tuned next week for Part 3: Getting Started with Long Edges - where we actually start to needle turn and stitch!  Woohoo!

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!
Hugs,
Karen

29 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Kate and thanks so much for stopping by. You do such beautiful hand word -- needle turn applique would be easy peasy for you ; )

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  2. I never thought about using a Hera marker in this way. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Mayleen I hope you like using it - it kinda takes the edge off the turn. With all the beautiful work you've done with Phebe I'm not sure you should change anything at all - Gosh that quilt is just beautiful! Thanks for stopping by and let me know how the Hera works for you.

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  3. Fabulous.You do it so easy that I want to try it right now!

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    1. Yay Rosa -- I'm excited for others to learn and so hope that they enjoy it like I do. Keep me posted on any questions or troubles your run into -- email me anytime. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words.

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  4. i love my sandpaper board.
    Great tip about using the hera tool. I am going to try that next time I do needle turn. Thanks

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    1. Carrie I'll look forward to hearing how it works for you. Your applique is already so beautiful - I think you've got it down pat... Thanks for stopping by now.

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  5. I've had my sandpaper board so long it is needing a new sandpaper. It was one of the best sewing investments I've made.

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    1. Lori, I can see where with all the beautiful applique you make that your sandpaper board would be smooth!! I'm always in awe at your work. I appreciate you stopping by and thanks so much for the shout out on your blog.

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  6. Great post......very clear. Needle turn method is THE best!!!!!

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    1. Hi Doreen -- thanks so much for your excitement and kind words. I just LOVE to needle turn - so relaxing for me. Now -- we just have to find time for you to give it a try ?? Hugs...

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  7. Wonderful instructions with nice, clear pictures. I really like the Hera tip, that's new to me but I'll certainly try it.

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    1. Can't wait to hear what you think of the Hera Marker Janet. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words.

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  8. wonderful, clear instructions Karen! I'm enjoying learning about this process!

    Thank you so much for sharing this at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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    1. Awe -- thanks Kelly. I'm hoping it helps others learn needle turn - it's so very rewarding for me. Thanks for the linky part and for your kind words.

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  9. This is the best tutorial for needle turn I have seen so far. Thank you

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    1. Awe Tammy -- that is sweet!! There is a ton of other information and you-tube videos out there too! I hope I can continue to come through for you. Now I just need time to stitch this week ; ) Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by.

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  10. Great tip on the Hera marker. I'd never thought to use it that way on an appliqué.

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    1. Let me know what you think Joan -- just one more tool to add to our belt huh ? Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  11. WOW!! EXCELLENT toot!! Thanks, Karen...now I am off to read the one that I missed!!
    P

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    1. Awe thanks P - I'm having fun and sure hope that this helps anyone interested in trying applique. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words.

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  12. I would like to print the instructions but I'm not able to print the PDF. Any suggestions? I have been doing back basting and freezer paper appliqué but would like to try needle turn. Your tutorial is encouraging.

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    1. Hi Charli - I tried to send you an email but you're showing as a no-reply blogger so I don't have address for you. Send an email to karen.keuka@gmail.com and let me know the trouble you're having with the PDF. If necessary we can find another solution for you. Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to hearing from you.

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  13. Karen......I am so excited to try your method. I've been doing appliqué for years but have never had much luck with needle turn. I've printed everything out and can't wait to get started! Thank you for posting the tutorial!!

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  14. EXCELLENT EXCELLENT tutorial!!!

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  16. Outstanding instructions and pics. Thank you!

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  17. Loving this tute... thanks for doing it and reposting it since somehow I missed it... this is my goal this year is to do some needleturn for the first time :) Kathi

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Thank you for your Sweet comments!